wooden gavel concept

The divorce process is known for its tendency of being expensive and prolonged with discussions about property division, child support, and alimony. This may be why an annulment seems preferable, however, these are only granted by New Jersey courts under specific circumstances. Continue reading to discover what these circumstances are and how a talented Morris County divorce lawyer at Graves Andrews, LLC can help you in gathering proof for your case.

What is the definition of an annulment?

An annulment legally erases the marriage as if it never existed because the circumstances were prohibited by law in the first place. This differs from a divorce, which is not as easily voidable. That is, the validity of the dissolved marriage is still recognized.

How does the annulment process work in New Jersey?

The process begins when you fill out and file a “Complaint for Annulment.” Your spouse will be officially served with the complaint, and if they agree, the judge will enter a decree of annulment without a hearing. However, if they disagree, you and your spouse will have to testify before a judge and present evidence proving one of the grounds for annulment.

Am I eligible for an annulment?

The main provision of New Jersey’s prohibited marriage laws is if you and your spouse are close relatives, whether that be between ancestor and descendant, brother and sister, uncle and niece, or aunt and nephew. Other grounds for an annulment read as follows:

  • You or your spouse were underage at the time of marriage.
  • You or your spouse have a physical incapacity to consummate the marriage.
  • You or your spouse have an undissolved previous marriage, otherwise known as bigamy.
  • You or your spouse experienced a lack of consent due to force, duress, or fraud.
  • You or your spouse experienced a lack of consent due to an understanding incapacity or the influence of alcohol or drugs.

If any of these circumstances apply to you, do not hesitate in employing a skillful Morristown family law attorney to help you get started on collecting evidence as soon as possible.

What is the statute of limitations in New Jersey?

Unlike most states, New Jersey law does not specify a specific time limit for seeking the cancellation of a marriage. However, waiting too long to seek an annulment may weaken the claimed grounds for cancellation if the annulment is challenged. In limited circumstances, New Jersey courts may grant an annulment within 30 days of a marriage ceremony even without cause.

Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Firm

Graves Andrews, LLC is an experienced Morris County family law firm serving all of New Jersey. Contact Graves Andrews, LLC to schedule an initial consultation to learn more about our services and how we can assist you. Reach out to our experienced attorneys today to get started.